Videoclip of the titletrack (Signs) on YouTube.
Basic tracks were recorded at Infinite Echoes studio, Utrecht, Netherlands, during several recording sessions in 2013.
Overdubs recorded by Gert at Studio Gert Emmens, Arnhem, Netherlands.
Mixed, mastered and produced by Gert Emmens.
Front cover photo, inlay photo and label photo by Hilko Hof. Left b/w photo by Gert Emmens, right b/w photo by Heike Mäder. Coverdesign by Gert Emmens.
Special thanks to: Hilko Hof, Ron Boots, Laila Quraishi and Heike Mäder
Emmens: keys, electronics, guitar, radio.
The music on this album is inspired by those large radio telescopes,
that patiently search the universe for signs. Signs that could mean
something. Signs that might contain a message, coming from an
intelligent lifeform, far away, maybe sent ages ago.
Bert Strolenberg (Sonic Immersion)
**** (out of 5)
it is always great and exciting to see people step out of the ordinary
and do something different. The latter applies to"Signs" (a concept
album inspired by large radio telescopes) by the Dutch duo Gert Emmens
and Ruud Heij, who decided to do a full ambient release despite the risk
it not being accepted/liked by their regular fan base.
Chuck van Zyl (Star's End) - May 22 2014
Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij seek a simplicity of expression. On their collaboration Signs (73'25") they have temporarily abandoned their most excellent sequencer music in order to expand their reach into the abstract world of aural exploration. They know that abstraction can be easier on the eye than it is on the ear. Yet utilizing a well-honed sense of sonic innovation Emmens & Heij manage to realize an engaging, even astonishing, unending miscellany of sound - all this in a music so surreal that it resists commodification. Texturally rich Signs engulfs the listening area as it carves out an even greater space within the listener's mind. Their calibrated barrage of electronics is imbued with a poetic introspection. Sounds unfurl as the arriving slow moving whooshes, building metallic drones and glowing gusts of harmony are soon swallowed up by burbles and crackles of synthetic tones - then sonic currents shift, flood and recede to leave us floating in a softly reverberating soundscape. Without the presence of a rhythmic element chronological awareness is lost. The sporadic placement of guitar or piano chords does offer an identifiable access point, but the other zones and areas that this work opens up are completely imaginary - their meaning known to their creator alone. Emmens & Heij never settle for repetition when they can offer permutations and then move on. They create an atmosphere looming with serious portent within a musical form known for its provocations. Mechanical talents on full display this duo plays with a new depth and amplitude. Not playing toward a destination; they play for the journey. But perhaps the greatest single reason for listening to this CD is for us to receive in the span of 70 minutes a complete message. With a meaning beyond words, this kind of album is the most basic form of poetry.
Sylvain Lupari - Synth & Secquences - May 13th 2014
“Signs is a soundtrack of lunar moods flooded by ambiences which are at the diapason of a slowly subversive madness”
A mini concerto of very discreet carillons spreads
the resonances of bells into synth lines among which the lazy twists are
floating such as some suspended metallic singings by dark chorus. Notes
of piano come to ring more hardly than the bells, weaving a somber
melody dislocated in a dense thick cloud of synth breezes and singings.
"First Light" raises proudly its naming with a day invasion on night
ashes. There are 10 minutes past to the meter and always "First Light"
floats as a threat with translucent lines which avoid all harmony with
the notes of a piano always mislaid in an opaque sibylline canvas. But
where are the sequences? The percussions? We hear here and there small
drumming, more of trampling, but "First Light" remains ambient. Very
ambient. Just like the whole of “Signs”. This last album of the
duet Emmens/Heij is an intrusion in the world of dark and ominous
ambient music. Both accomplices abandon sequences and percussions to
concentrate on the art to modulate abstract sonic landscapes flooded by
ambiences which are at the diapason of a slowly subversive madness. The
Dutch duet doesn't do things by halves. “Signs” is an immersive album
where the listener is plunged in full lunar darkness in search of the
slightest thread of rhythm. But there is no rhythm here. Only
atmospheres. But twisted atmospheres and of a rare sinister wealth where
is linked a multitude of anfractuous lines and where the discomfort
roams in every plot of luminosity.
CD mit Gert Emmens & Ruud Heij ohne Sequenzer .... geht das ? Klar, geht
..... und wie :-)